Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Sofa Table VI – all the way to completion

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
We begin the final session with the table top being glued up. The timber is West Australian Sheoak, and this promises to be something special. When finished, it is a rose gold in colour, darkening over time to a rose-gold-brown.

While the panel is drying, I get on with finishing the drawer. So far it has been fitted to the table with an extra divider attached with a through mortice-and-tenon …

We move on to attaching the slips …

The drawer bottom is trimmed to fit, and then rebated for the slips …

Here is the completed drawer. Note that the drawer bottom rests below the slips (rather than at the same height). This was to save a few mm of height …

The rear of the drawer …

The end of the drawer has a fitted section that serves to prevent the drawer bottom expanding to the rear. Instead, it will expand into a deeper groove at the front of the drawer. The reason for this less typical construction will be clearer later.

The drawer sides require a little tuning to slide smoothly. The drawer front at the legs was very tight (so that the drawer front appears to be a solid join), and it was necessary to remove some thickness from the drawer sides. This was done with a scraper for control, to avoid planning into the drawer front …

Here is the fitted drawer …

…and here is the drawer front …

The table top is ready for shaping. It has been book matched to create a pattern in the figure of a slight boat. This will enhance the outline of the top …

The top is marked out with the template I made early on, and then bandsawed to shape. Below the ends are planed …

… and then the sides receive their final shaping with a Mujingfang double iron woodie. The advantage of this plane here is that it can take a thick shaving without tearout regardless of grain direction …

The top is smoothed with my favourite Veritas Custom #4 …

Time to shape the underside of the table ends. The plan is a long chamfer. This is roughed out by traversing with a Veritas LA Jack, using a low cutting angle ..

When traversing, the far end is bevelled to avoid spelching. However, as on gets to the line, it is safer not to plane over the far end. As a result, a slight wedge is created. This is smoothed down with a skew block plane …

Finally, the surface is finished with a cabinet scraper. At the same time the inside of the chamfer is fared into the underside of the table top.

Having spent a little time with the table top on the base, I decided that the curved front could be a little deeper. This was done before proceeding further …

Time to attach the top to the base. I had earlier cut slots for the buttons with a Festool Domino, and had planned to use the dominos as buttons. In practice the dominos were too short, and so I cut out sections in Maple to the desired length.

Note in the picture below that I have also attached cross pieces at the inside ends of the base. These were to ensure that the to does not move. They are cross grain to ensure what little movement runs to the inside …

The final construction is to add a Quaker Lock for the drawer. This is a simple stop that prevents the drawer being extended further than desired. It is attached using the same screw …

But, since it is spring-loaded, it can also be pressed in and the drawer opened up fully (if you know to do this). This will reveal the hidden drawers behind the hidden drawer ☺

Finally!!!! All is completed. The base has been finished in two coats of dewaxed white shellac (Ubeaut), and then received three coats of General Finishes water-based poly, which was hand rubbed. This is to retain the light colour. The top has been finished in Livos Universal Wood Oil. This is a green oil made largely from cold pressed flax seeds. It adds a slight amber sheen to the wood.

This is two coats. I plan on a few more.

From the front …

Here is a side elevation of the shaped ends …

The drawer slides out this far …

Thanks for the support along the way. Please ask any questions you like. All discussion welcomed.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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Sofa Table VI – all the way to completion
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